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Restoring and preserving spaces takes careful planning, cultural respect, and great attention to detail. At Rowland, we instill all these traits into the clients vision of historic preservation and restoration. From start to finish, our clients are deeply involved in the process, helping us create and shape the story they want told to patrons. When a space is restored correctly, it is able to create new excitement while bringing to light the same character and grandeur that was lost over the years. We have made this very idea a reality for restaurants, theatres, offices and homes to name but a few.

historic preservation


Rowland was charged with bringing back the grandeur of the theatre that was lost during an earlier renovation that was completely modern. The focus was on renovating the actual performing venues, the grand lobby and passageways, which are now replete with historical pieces from the Theatre’s past. Rowland saw in the Spanish Baroque design that the lobby could be transformed into one of the most elegant rooms in Indiana. Much of the original beauty in the ceiling had been buried beneath decades of soot. Marble patterns were discovered on landings, a crest shield on a wall appeared, unappreciated art emerged. The original detailing for plaster walls, seating upholstery, and end panels on the rows of seats were reintroduced to echo the motifs that reflected the Moorish movie palace circa 1927.

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The Charley Creek Inn, originally built in 1920, recently completed a 2-year historically accurate restoration. Rowland Design served as the interior designer on the project team. The Charley Creek Inn boutique hotel has thirty individually designed guest rooms and suites, and also contains several well-appointed event spaces, including a rooftop event space known as The Cloud Club. The hotel is located in the heart of historic downtown Wabash, Indiana. Guests will feel right at home with many amenities including on-site dining at “Twenty,” the hotel’s casual upscale restaurant, also designed by Rowland Design. Richard Ford, owner of Charley Creek Inn, received the distinguished ‘Cook Cup Award’ from Indiana Landmarks for his transformation of the historic hotel.

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This whimsically conceived restaurant was a catalyst in the revitalization of a historic commercial district in downtown Indianapolis. Upstairs, a Community Table creates a playful atmosphere, as diners can adjust lighting levels and colors as they enjoy flirtatious conversation. Semi-private dining crescents are swathed in translucent drapery, offering only glimpses of food and faces, so all diners can choose their mood, yet feel connected to the energy of the restaurant. Stephen Moody’s abstract artwork floats through the restaurant and lounge downstairs via projection onto tabletops and walls. It also graces the elegant scrims that fall from ceiling to floor.

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In 2004, Rowland Design converted the former headquarters of the Fletcher Trust Bank into an urban hotel. Performing interior architecture and interior design, Rowland Design gracefully retained the grandeur of the structure’s public spaces in keeping with the hotel’s historic nature. In the winter of 2009, First Hospitality Group once again contacted Rowland Design to create a modernized design scheme for the downtown Indianapolis Hilton Garden Inn. Keeping mind the historic nature of the hotel and its iconic presence in downtown Indianapolis, Rowland Design updated the hotel’s lobby, bar and Great American Grill restaurant with both classic and modern furniture and accessories. This interior redesign brought a new level of sophistication to the hotel’s unique historic setting.

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What began as School No. 9, circa 1899, is now the headquarters of a leading creative agency. Young & Laramore and its sister companies now draw inspiration from an environment rich with history and whimsy that inspires collaboration, creativity and open communication. Public hallways are replete with the firm’s work. Stair landings are used as impromptu meeting zones. Chalkboards have been repurposed as countertops and work surfaces, and a rocket ship acts as conference space. Most importantly, the new space reflects the organization’s vibrant and exciting culture and lets the company put their inspired imprint on it.

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Founded in 1902, Harrison College, formerly known as Indiana Business College, had previously occupied a century-old church building. Through the catalyzing leadership of a new president, the institution reinvented its image through the construction of this new facility. Designed to accommodate the needs of classrooms, admissions and faculty offices, dining and student center amenities, the structure has established a new architectural standard for Harrison’s regional campuses. Its vibrant nighttime presence, iconic stair tower and orientation to downtown Indianapolis have resulted in a powerful civic presence for the college, and enrollment has dramatically increased since the completion of this project.

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What was formerly a private residence along Indianapolis’ historic Meridian Street is now home to a corporate foundation headquarters. Rowland deliberately contrasted the early twentieth century architectural interior with contemporary furnishings and lighting as a response to the client’s modern art collection and as a way to draw more attention to the historic detail found throughout the structure. A variety of entertaining and meeting spaces reside within the mansion’s parlor, living room and paneled library to accentuate the foundation’s residential context.

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This seamless addition to a 1920s family home is centered around the display of a premier collection of political memorabilia and the introduction of a grade level master suite and informal lounge area. The three level project is dominated by a dramatic winding staircase, extensive woodwork and abundant natural light. Accentuated with period furnishings and decorative art from the nineteenth century and innumerable volumes of political history, this environment is a true reflection of the homeowner’s unique vision and interests.

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In collaboration with Jacqueline Anderson, the wife of the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Director Maxwell Anderson, Rowland Design renovated the historic Westerley estate, inside and out. Mrs. Anderson and designer Tom Borman from Rowland Design kept much of the home’s original furnishings, but updated them with contemporary upholstery and finishes. The walls and artwork around the home employ daring hues not typically seen in historic homes but which give the estate a modern feel and a personality all its own.

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Housed in a historically significant Burnham and Root structure on a primary corner in downtown Indianapolis, Paul Harris’s flagship location brought new luster to an already stunning bank lobby. Challenged with unifying and merchandising a two story selling floor, Rowland introduced a sculptural, glass and steel stairway that became the focal point of the new space. This deliberate contrast between the decorative, brass and marble teller cages and ornate, neoclassical details brought about a renewed awareness of the historic lobby. Seasonally changing graphic murals that coordinated with fashion’s color trends were also incorporated to further the clothing retailer’s merchandising strategy.

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Rowland Design 701 East New York Street Indianapolis, IN 46202 www.rowlanddesign.com P | 317.636.3980 F | 317.263.2073


Rowland's Historic Preservation Portfolio